I am Emily Jee Corsino, a disciple of Ps. Roxan Lapitan and I am the youngest in my family. My dad passed away when I was just one and a half years old. Even though my mom provided for the family, to me, I still felt that something was missing in my life. Growing up without a father, I strive to be strong and independent. Therefore, I put a “bold front” before others, showing that I am a strong woman who does everything by herself. Cared not about people around me, I cared only about proving to everyone that I was capable and successful by my own strengths. When I was enrolled in the nursing degree program in college, I thought I was on my way to success. Determined to rely on my own strength, I believed that I should be able to get a scholarship while keeping my part-time job during the school years. But it was much harder than I had imagined. Even so, I was reluctant to share with my family about the great pressure I was under. At the end, I didn’t have enough money for tuition, and I failed my license exam twice. Crushed and desperate to run away from the predicament, I came to work in Hong Kong. Despite being far away from my family, my relationship with them got worse. Many times I did not want to call them because they only asked me to send back money which drove me to loneliness and devastation.

In February 2013, Nanay Aida invited me to the ANEW Service at a small room called “River of Chebbar”. Arriving at the church, the touch of God was tangible and the fire of the Holy Spirit came upon me. It was something I had longed to experience but had lost it for a long time as I had drifted away from God. There and then, a sense of belonging and homely feeling returned to me. Continue to engage in ANEW and receive bible teaching from Sunday services and equipping courses, I am much happier and I can even open up myself to others and care for others. In 2014 I was ordained as a cell leader and began serving in the worship team and power ministry team.

In 2016, I became Ps Roxan’s disciple. It was not easy for me to settle in our new relationship because we used to be good friends. Now, I feel like she always prunes and corrects me. I was stressed out when she asked me to care for the music team and be mature. She advised me on my vocal skills and to lead the worship team with humility and love. But the Word of God reminded me that godly commands give life and freedom.

Hence I choose to believe my cell leader is guiding me and pruning me not because she enjoys picking on me, but because she values the relationship we have. She loves me and she wants me to grow to be a tree of life. Once, she asked me, “Do you really love yourself?” She went on to explain that, if I want to love others, I have to love myself first. She further asked me, “do you know yourself well?” With that, I felt confronted about a matter I had kept secret to her. I didn’t tell her that I was dating her brother! Not used to take advice and not trusting her enough, I was happy to do things my way. As the Holy Spirit gave me light on this issue, I repented to God and asked for His forgiveness. After that, I opened up to my cell leader about my relationship. She listened calmly and responded to me with acceptance. She loves and values our relationship. Our relationship experienced a breakthrough, I became more comfortable to open up my whole life before her, and we got much closer since then. Now I would even cook for her.

Thank God for the life of my cell leader, through her, God led me out of my comfort zone and limitations. As I trust my leader and authority on earth, I learn to trust in God. God brought me to 611 Anew, filling up the missing parts in my life, and giving me true relationship with God Himself and with His people. These are relationships without lies, pretense or hiding. I can be transparent and honest. Such relationships give me life and freedom.

God’s covenant is forever. As He said in His words in John 3:16, “for God so love the world that He gave His only son and whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life”. God loves me and saves me, I am no longer hiding in my past .He set me apart and called me by name, He gave me a new identity. All I need is to have the right attitude towards Him, be ready and trust in Him, and open myself to interact with Him openly and truthfully. May the Lord be my guide forever.